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French jets in Lebanon strike Syrian positions

French Super-Etendard fighter planes blasted artillery batteries behind Syrian Army lines in the hills east of Beirut Thursday after the guns had fired on French positions in Beirut, wounding four French soldiers, Western military officers said.

It was the first time the French forces had responded to an attack on them, and the first air attack by any of the four nations in a peacekeeping force. The French government had just announced it had given its forces in Beirut the green light to attack artillery that fired on them.

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The US Navy, meanwhile, opened fire on rebel positions for the third straight day after the US ambassador's residence and the Lebanese Defense Ministry came under heavy bombardment. Efforts to mediate a cease-fire appeared to gather momentum as US envoy Robert McFarlane met separately with Syrian Foreign Minister Abdel-Halim Khaddam and Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblatt.

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